First Person

Calluses and Cow Sheds: How I Found My Queerness in Rural America

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“That year I spent a lot of time watching the goats and cows eat grass. Mostly because I found their single-minded focus incredibly comforting. Also because our fences were shoddy and I had to figure out how they were constantly escaping. I was learning to care for animals like I was learning to listen to myself: in silent and slow observation.”

First Person

Learning to Use Chopsticks: Coming Out as Korean-American

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“At 27, I came out as Korean-American. I was always Korean, of course. I checked the “Asian” box when filling out a form. My ethnicity was written on my face in the shape of my eyes and my small flat nose. But until a few years ago, it wasn’t an identity I felt connected to. There were many identities that came first — poet, bisexual, queer, feminist, activist, organizer, fattie, vegan. Being Korean was a fact, but not an identity.”

First Person

Me, Piper Chapman, the Psych Ward, and the Incarcerated 2.2 Million

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“Real human change requires space to be honest with yourself, honest with others; a space that doesn’t exist when you’re trapped by necessity behind a fortress of self-protection. As the inmate Poussey in Orange replies when a correctional officer pressures her to speak openly during a group therapy session: “Does it ever occur to you that actually feeling our feelings might make it impossible to survive in here?”

First Person

Take the Lead: A Beginner’s Adventure at Queer Tango Festival

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“Trying to be cool about it, I stood next to a woman with gravitas who immediately turned to me and asked me to be her partner. She told me she’d been dancing tango as a follow for three years and was now learning to lead. And so yours truly, a middle-aged butch dyke, happily took the position of follow to a 20-something lead in an A-line dress.”